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Special Report With Bret Baier

News/Business. Bret Baier. (2013) New.

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01:00:00

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ac3

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TOPIC FREQUENCY

Boston 44, Us 16, Washington 7, United States 6, New York 4, U.s. 4, Massachusetts 4, Bret 4, London 3, Patrick 2, Scott Brown 2, Steve Hayes 2, Davis 2, F.b.i. 2, Nation 2, Charles Payne 2, D.c. 2, Benghazi 2, New York City 2, Manhattan 2,
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  FOX News    Special Report With Bret Baier    News/Business. Bret  
   Baier.  (2013) New.  

    April 15, 2013
    3:00 - 4:00pm PDT  

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people. >> (inaudible). >> there are fatalities. i won't get into details of that. i said i wouldn't get into details on that. there are people that have expired as a result of this incident. >> were the devices in the trash can? >> we don't know. >> what about reports there are >> there are police that havess been dispatched to all of the hospitals. that's part of our investigative protocol to secure the area and make sure we get every witness statement we can possibly get. all that stuff is happening right now. >> like guarding specific rooms at mass again? >> there is a heavy police presence at alt hospitals and some of the hotels and other venues. you shouldn't read anything into that. >> garbage cans, are you looking into them, are they scouring the area looking at all types of possibilities? >> anything that is unattended right now, any package
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unattended is being treated as a potential problem. we're going lieu to check each particular parcel and item. >> we're going to call this for number we'll be back with more information when we have it. but thank you all for coming. thank you very much. >> i'm bret baier in washington. you're looking live in boston. this is a fox news alert. that was boston police commissioner ed davis saying that no one is in custody, but they do have a heavy police presence at various hospitals. this as we had reports about a person of interest being guarded at one hospital. terror on patriots day. what was supposed to be a boston marathon celebrating life. an iconic eye vent, the fulfillment of life long dreams for many has turned into a deadly nightmare. at least two people have been killed, dozens others have been injured and maimed.
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and at least two explosions near the finish line of the venerable boston marathon. a third incident at the jfk library, officials are not sure, they believe it was fire related, perhaps not tied to the bombings. it's a bit vague at this hour. fox news is being told that authorities were guarding a person in the hospital who may be a person of interest. you just heard the police commissioner addressing some of the questions there about that. molly line begins our coverage from boston. >> two loud explosions on the north side of boilston street. injuring dozens of people, killing at least two. the sounds of cheering quickly turned to sirens as first responders rushed to treat dozens of wounded spectators. >> body parts. people have been blown apart. they're dead. where the window is, the windows are all blown out and there is probably about -- we're pretty sure they're dead.
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>> rick: thousands of runners take part and it was packed when the bombs went off. >> they responded within 15 seconds. you saw everybody coming down here. >> did you see the first bomb go off? >> on the right-hand side, just past the blue paint. you can see the white smoke come out, then about 15 seconds later, also further up on the right inside, the second explosion. >> need i can't captured the aftermath on film. >> it took probably five or ten seconds to realize what had happened 'cause it couldn't happen there. so it was just too surreal. then my head was screaming one runway and my feet walked the other and started recording and another 15, 20 seconds, another device went off you up the street. that's when you realize it wasn't an entwhistle, it -- it wasn't an accident or generator. >> competitors and bystanders were seen crying and comforting each other as they pled.
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others were set up to triage. >> my legs feel like they've been blown off. obviously the bleeding profusely, so in conjunction with ems on the scene, they managed to stop bleeding. but they're in the operating room already. >> there were reports many of the folks being treated at local hospitals are in critical condition. so it's a possibility that we could be hearing a higher death toll as the day goes on of the we're hearing more about what happened. another thing to notice that this really happened at the height of the day, the elite runners had long since finished this race, but there were still thousands of people that had yet to cross the finish line when these explosions occurred. bret. >> thank you. we're waiting the president, you'll see that live here on fox news channel. obvious lie everyone, as you look live at the white house briefing room, everyone in law enforcement and intelligence trying to get information. let's get the latest from catherine herridge. good evening. what are you hearing right now?
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>> we injures heard from the police commissioner in boston saying no one is in custody, but that's not entirely inconsistent with the information fox news has earlier said a person of interest is currently being guarded in one of the hospitals there, that this person has severe burns. our sources now saying whether this person was a victim or perpetrator and not commenting on this individual's nationality. the justice department is treating this as a terrorism investigation, we're told. not specifically whether it's domestic or international. the attorney general has also been in direct contact with the f.b.i. director who has spoken with president obama this afternoon. fox news told f.b.i. agents are focused now on the methodical work of pulling clues from the marathon route what, is now a crime season the residue from the explosions to determine the type of explosive, the origin of the explosives, and whether the devices were made by the same person. in other words, they carry the bomb maker's signature. also the type of detonator, as well as whether they contain any
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shrapnel. that will be a critical clue. they're also pulling the surveillance camera video. based on conversations with sources this afternoon, initially what they reported to us is that there was no threat information or chatter in advance of what happened at the marathon today or that it was a target. >> thank you. as we look live at the white house briefing room. again, the president ready to speak in a few minutes. we may get more information there. you just saw some video there. that's from the boston globe. i want to toss back to that video and just put the sound up so you can hear it. it's just one of the two explosions there at the finish line and you can hear the chaos in people's voices as it happens
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>> we've had an attack. we just had an attack, that camera man says. obviously the president and his administration, homeland security, the military, all on alert. we'll hear from him momentarily. ed henry is live with what's going on there at the white house. good evening, ed. >> hello. a series of briefings for the president, starting at 3:00 p.m.
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eastern time when he was first informed of it in the oval office. you can see from this photo the white house released -- spoke to janet napolitano. in that photo he's talking to robert muller. obviously in the middle of a massive federal investigation to get to the bottom of this. you see in the photo, dennis mcdonough, his homeland security advisor, they are clearly trying to get on top of this investigation, but also coordinating with local and state officials to make sure this administration is doing all it can to help people on the ground sort all of this out. we should note they've been cautious so far on whether or not it is terrorism. the vice president was doing a previously scheduled conference call earlier about gun control and on that just said offhand that it was a bombing, as if it were not an accident, but did not use the specific word terror, though we're just getting a two-minute warning that the president will be out. so we'll hear as to whether he will call this terrorism. we know the diane feinstein has moments ago called this an act
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of terror, though she said it's unclear whether it's a foreign source of terrorism or whether this was home grown terrorism. >> thank you. while we wait for the president, joining me here is mike mccall of texas here in studio. chairman, thank you for being here. the president will be out momentarily. i might interrupt you. your thoughts on this day, this attack, your initial thoughts. >> it's obviously huge tragedy and my hearts go out to the victims and their families today. this, in my judgment, has all the hallmarks of an act of terrorism. you have simultaneous bombings taking place at the finish line of the marathon. they always strive for spectacular mass casualty events. when you look at this, you can't -- i mean, i've been in this counterterrorism business for a while. now as chairman, i will tell that you i think it's very clear and i think the f.b.i. is treating it as such, that this was an act of terrorism.
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we just don't know who is behind it. >> we've been very careful all afternoon to not jump to conclusions. when you see multiple bombings like this, when you hear reporters and witnesses on the scene describing shotgun pellets or bb's, or metal balls that you've seen in these bombings before being used, to really have these explosives have the most mass casualtyies, as you mentioned, the hallmarks of other potential plots. correct? >> correct. i think when you see ball bearings, as you mentioned -- >> here is the president. let me interrupt you. i'm sorry. >> security team on the events in boston. we're continuing to monitor and respond to the situation as it unfolds. i've directed the full resources of the federal government to help state and local authorities protect our people, increase security around the united states as necessary, and
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investigate what happened. the american people will say a prayer for boston tonight and michelle and i send our deepest thoughts and prayers to the families of the victims in the wake of this senseless loss. we don't yet have all the answers. but we do know that multiple people have been wounded. some gravely in explosions at the boston marathon. i've spoken to f.b.i. director muller and secretary of homeland security napolitano and they're mobilizing the appropriate resources to investigate and to respond. i've updated leaders of congress in both parties and we reaffirmed that on days like this, there are no republicans or democrats, we are americans, united in concern for our fellow citizens. i've also spoken with governor patrick and the mayor and made it clear they have every single federal resource necessary to care for the victims and counsel the families. and above all, i made clear to them that all americans stand with the people of boston.
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boston police, firefighters and first responders, as well as the national guard responded heroically and continue to do so as we speak. it's a reminder that so many americans serve and sacrifice or our behalf every single day without regard to their own safety in dangerous and difficult circumstances. we salute all those who assisted in responding so quick complete professionally to this tragedy. we still do not know who did this or why. and people shouldn't jump to conclusions before we have all the facts. but make no mistake, we will get to the bottom of this. and we will find out who did this, we'll find out why they did this. any responsible individuals, any responsible groups will feel the full weight of justice. today is holiday in massachusetts. patriots day. it's a day that celebrates the free and fiercely independent
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spirit that this great american city of boston has reflected from the earliest days of our nation and it's a day that draws the world to boston streets in a spirit of friendly competition. boss continue is a tough and -- boss continue is a tough and -- boston is a tough and resilient town. i'm sure bostonnians will pull together, take care of each other and move forward as one proud city and as they do, the american people will be with them every single step of the way. you should anticipate that as we get more information, our teams will provide you briefings. we're still in the investigation stage at this point, but i just want to reiterate, we will find out who did this and we will hold them accountable. thank you very much. >> president of the united states saying they do not know who is responsible here, but make no mistake, we will get to the bottom of this. essentially, mr. chairman,
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chairman of the house homeland security committee back with us, saying the united states is resilient and will find out who is behind this. >> i think that's right. and i received a call from the white house about 30 minutes ago. we discussed this and talked about the role the federal law enforcement, state and local, they're all working together. i think i made the same comment to the white house that the president just made and that is today we are not democrats, republicans. we're all americans. we're all americans united against terrorism. i think that's a very, very important point. also as he stated, not to jump to conclusion, because while die believe this is an act of terrorism, we don't know when is behind it at this point in time and we don't have all the evidence before us. >> sure. someone who used to work for president obama, a justice department spokesman, matthew miller, who worked for attorney general holder, tweeted today after all of this and after a
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number of minutes and hours had gone by, quote, small bombs in multiple locations. sounds like the planned nyc subway bombing the f.b.i. thwarted in 2009. he was a spokesman for the doj under attorney general holder. again, we're not jumping to conclusions, but it does sound like that kind of a plot. >> it is very reminiscent of the times square bombing. the fact that the patriots day i think has maybe some significance. as we were talking about earlier, there are reports, earlier reports that ball bearings used in these explosive device, which is consistent with ied's. this is a preferred method and choice for the terrorists to kill americans. so again, it's very early stages in the investigation. but if indeed there turn out to be ball bearings, i would consider that a significant factor in terms of this being a
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sort ied device that's very similar to what the terrorists used overseas in the middle east. >> who briefed congress? >> i just got a specific call from the white house liaison to me 30 minutes ago. >> and was there shrapnel in both bombs? >> they did not indicate that. but i have had some earlier reporting that there were shrapnel, ball bearings involved in these bombings. again, that's very significant when you look at the signature threat here. the signature threat of an eid is ball bearings. if that indeed was the case here and we know two bombs went off. one was potentially self-teutonateed by the coast guard at the jfk library, if ball bearings were used, i think that's ill straystive in terms of tracing back to the perpetrator and the motivation. >> what about -- we've heard heightened security here in washington and new york,
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abundance of caution. you're homeland security chairman. after something like this, obviously the nation is on alert. >> we are. i don't want -- i think it's important to remain calm and not panic, but dc and new york are on a little more heightened state of alert as we should be. as is the white house and the capitol. remember 9-11, the two targets were unfinished were the white house and the capitol. so we're always very mindful of that, as is the fact that new york city is always the number one targets. the fact that boston was hit here just opens it up to a whole new city. it's very, very tragic. but again, to pick the time when multiple people were finishing going across the finish line to simultaneously detonate as we've seen in these horrific pictures that we have such graphic photos of people literally being blown up, limbs being blown off, it is a real tragic day. one thing that's for certain, we
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will find the people who did this and we will bring them to justice. >> it does run the spectrum, though. as much as it may have similarities to the new york city subway plot, you also have images of the 1996 olympic park bombing and what that person, eric robert rudolph, had in his mind. so you can run the gamut on possible systems behind this, right? >> sure. this is so close to the event that when i talk to law enforcement, f.b.i., those on the ground, you really can't jump to conclusions right now because you tonight know what the final answer is here. but we do know two bombs were detonated that caused mass injuries and two deaths so far reported. and the fact that one at the jfk library is of great concern. we don't have evidence that there are any more out there. but we really tonight know at this point in time. it's too early. >> everyone is praising the
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local authorities on the ground. they apparently did find a couple of unexploded devices. they stopped the cellular use right away because cell phones could detonate some of these ied's for a better word, these bombs in many cases. they did a fantastic job, didn't they? >> they did. remember, just like on 9-11, going to the fire station across from ground zero, these first responders need to be commended. look, it happened very quickly. but the response they gave after the fact could have potentially saved more lives in turns of cell phones can detonate ied's f these were ied's, they could have stopped further violence and killings. i think they have done extraordinary jobs. >> where do we go from here? >> there is a full investigation. homeland security folks on the ground, f.b.i., tabf, coast guard is in the waterways. we talked to them, state and local officials, local boston pd
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has done a phenomenal job, as are the firefighters. there are some indicators out there, though i can't confirm there may be a person of interest. i think this -- >> you say you can't confirm. we heard the police commissioner talk about the guarding rooms and there is a heavy police presence. i mean, we have from multiple sources that there is a person who is being guarded in the hospital. very good sourcing from our guy over at department of justice. can you shed any more light on that? >> i'm hearing the same reports, but unconfirmed. so it's irresponsible for me to confirm something i don't know to be fact. but if that is true, that's very good news that we're already onto a person of interest that can lead us to what could have been a wider conspiracy plot to kill americans on this tragic day, patriots day. >> okay. mr. chairman, thank you so much for your time. i really appreciate you coming over. >> thanks for having me. appreciate it. >> let's listen now to an
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eyewitness account of this horrible scene in boston. >> i was 50 yards from this thing. i saw the whole thing. we are coming down boyleton street. literally, i heard a cannon go off. i saw a whole bunch of smoke. i go, why would a cannon go off? recognizing four hours or something. i saw the second one go off. i immediately stopped. >> you're running running with h of kids. >> i'm with five of my kids, we're finishing together. we all stepped dead in our tracks and the police were escorting us off. we didn't know what was really happening. it was terrifying. we saw a whole bunch of people running back the opposite way on boyleton street towards us. we thousand this race was over. >> just want account on the ground. let's turn to charles payne, the former chief of the office of bombing prevention for the department of homeland security. charles, thanks for being here. >> glad to be here. >> your thoughts on this day from your perspective, knowledge and experience.
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>> bret, today, unfortunately, is a day that a lot of us knew was on the way for a long time, much like the way the devices were placed. it's been a marathon since 9-11. they've done a lot of training and preparation and all the law enforcement folks have been preparing for this for, unfortunately, too long. and so it's an important fact to realize that the folks that are out there know what they're doing and it's a horrible, horrible day, but we will find who did it and the ability of the f.b.i. and the folks of homeland security are -- there is no better in the world. >> charles, what about the investigation from a forensic standpoint? what's going on right now? >> well, as anyone knows, and
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certainly i'm not on the inside of any investigation anymore and if i were, i couldn't speak to an ongoing investigation. >> no, no, no. thee receipticcally. >> right, thee receiptic cree. >> they're looking at every piece of available information and at the same time, they have to insure that all the citizens are safe and their fathers are safe and all the other first responders, firefighters, and emergency medical technicians, all those folks that are out there managing this incident, managing the consequences of this incident, are being kept safe as well by planning, by understanding who needs to do what next, and understanding what the priority in the investigation and the overall response is. so forensically, they're looking at every possible piece of information they can and they're very good at what they do. and they will have answers and answers that are double-checked
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very soon. >> because how long would it take somebody to string together whether these bombs were made by the same bomb maker or track back perhaps the specific materials used to make these bombs? >> it's tough to say because as we used to say all the time, an explosive device is up to the imagination of the bomber. it's also up to the situation that the bomber is in during the time he's preparing. and they're also always probably signature items that anyone with a skill set might use more often than others. it's hard to speculate about that. so the time that it takes to put one of these operations together, you wouldn't tend to think it's short, but it's just difficult to understand the specific situation that the bomber was in and his intentions
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as well until there is a complete search accomplished and until all information is known, it's tough to make any speculations on really how long it took, how many there were, why he used what he did, and that sort of thing. the ohm thing that's for sure is we knew he intend to do do harm. >> yeah. i don't know if we can get this video of the spot shadow of the two different bombs where you can see both of them in the same frame. but you can see one going off down the street and then the other one about anywhere from four to ten seconds later, depending on how fast the tape is going. is it your sense that as those bombs are timed to go off like that, or set off by a cell phone? any sense to know how that would happen? >> no. again, tough to speculate. the devices certainly let's you know that it was coordinated. the method by which anyone would
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coordinate those, again, is up to the imagination of the bomber. when you bring in the fact that perhaps cell phones were used, there are many different ways that a cell phone could be configured that could be used to initiate a device. but one thing is for certain, there was technology used and there was an intention for simultaneousity. so at this point if you're an investigator or you were someone who was analyzing this incident, there is nothing there that can tell you to rule a lot of those things out, if that makes sense. >> that was the video there, just down the street, you can see another puff of smoke. we'll try to get it spot shadowed there. i want to read something to you. one of the eyewitnesses said, just a really loud explosion, glass and smoke everywhere. we just ran. this is david o'neill of westborough. he says, glass was blown out of a restaurants window and then he checked his pockets and he found shotgun pellets, what he thought
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were shotgun pell let's in his coat -- pell ets in his coat pocket. we heard one committee member saying ball bearings. when you hear that, what do you think? >> when i hear that, i know from my training as well, now it's public knowledge, that things like that included in devices are there for lethality. if you were to take a look at the scene in atlanta near where that device went off, there is still some pock marks in some of the monuments in that area. so these devices are extremely powerful and those sort of fragments, whether they're metal or nails or anything that are included around the device itself, absolutely increases the lethality. and one would tend to think that that would be the only reason
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that those would be present in a device such as that. >> do you think the administration has done a good job of preparing for something like this? you said at the beginning that everyone knew it was coming. do you think that we were prepared as a nation to deal with it? obviously the local folks on the ground responded tremendously. they stopped at least two other devices. but as a nation, do you think we were ready to go as far as dealing with something like this? >> well, i tell you, that's an extremely complicated question. >> maybe it's not a question for today. but i guess i want to get your thoughts. >> i will say, listen, improvised explosive devices have touched all of our lives since the war in iraq and afghanistan. we have watched our soldiers,
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sailors, airmen and marines come back ravaged by the injuries that are caused by these devices. we as a nation have invested billions of dollars encountering this overseas. in the united states, we spend funding, we spend effort and we lean toward an effective strategy to counter terrorist use of explosives within the united states, and oftentimes goes beyond our borders in the inception of these attacks. so if you're asking if we as a nation are completely ready, first of all, i don't think you're ever ready for an incident like this. but today of all days, is a day to remind everyone that it's not just a state and local first stoppedders. it's not just the federal agents that are the counterterrorism, antiterrorism folks out there. it's every citizen. if you see something, say something, and call the state and local law enforcement office
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because one of the things that we have done over the years is we have created a system where everything starts with the state and local law enforcement and i can promise you, it works. i've seen it myself. so are we prepared as we should be? the answer to that is probably never yes. do we need to take a step back as a nation, take a step back as the federal agencies that are responsible to the president and to the people for protecting it to say, have we done enough? are we doing the right thing and can we do more? those are questions that need to be asked in the coming days and we should all hope that today, though unfortunate, doesn't lead to tomorrow and the next day. >> charles payne, former chief of the office of bomb prevention at the department of homeland security, charles, we really appreciate your time and expertise tonight and all nights, thank you. >> thank you. >> if you know someone who was running in the marathon today, you can go to raceday.daa.
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it's on the bottom of the screen to find out where the runner last checked in to the race before the explosion. it also lists the names of runners. boston officials announced this afternoon you can call this number on the bottom of your screen. 617-635-4500 if you're still searching for loved ones. that was one of the two bombings at the boston marathon today as runners finished the race, just by the finish line. the blast tore limbs off dozens of people. at least two people were killed.
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some 100 may have been injured, according to authorities. boston herald reporter, running in the marathon, said i saw two explosions. the first one was beyond the finish line. he heard a loud bang and saw the smoke rising. he kept running and he heard another loud bang. out of a trash can, he said, and quote, somebody's leg flew by my head. a spectator who gave him his name and he gave that spectator his belt to try to stop the blood. another person was yelling, i need my kids. another spectator said it was horrific. i saw some horrific wounds. you could literally feel the rush of wind, panic, panicked families. one lady screaming again and again, i need my mother. i need to see my mother. this is the frantic scene in boston today. shortly after the blast, officials of other cities along the east coast went into action.
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we have eric shaun in new york on the streets of manhattan. but we begin in washington with doug mckelway on capitol hill about security. >> we heard the metropolitan police department in washington has gone to a heightened level of security. that is also the case for the prince george's county, maryland police department in suburban maryland. the uniformed secret service division at the white house has extended the perimeter on the north side of the white house a couple hundred yards. we're hearing the pentagon police have also increased security. each of these cases or most of these cases we are hearing this is not in response to any direct threat, but merely taken out of an abundance of caution because of what happened in boston today. moments ago i saw a capitol hill police officer with a bomb dog randomly searching cars in the vicinity of the russell senate office building. also about 5:00 o'clock this afternoon, the house of representatives observed a moment of silence in honor of
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the victims. the senate followed shortly later after that. we're expecting more formal moment of silence in the house at 6:55 this evening between votes. that said, there are really no ross stensible signs of security in this general area. i was in the russell senate office building this afternoon for a hearing at the senate veterans affairs department when the bombing happened. there was absolutely no reaction there whatsoever throughout that russell senate office building. i saw no evidence of any heightened intensity and security. reaction from capitol hill, though, is beginning to come in. we heard from senator jack reed of rhode island just a little while ago who issued a statement that reads, quote, our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and our heartfelt thanks go to those first responders, medical personnel, volunteers and citizens who were on the scene to help those in need. i have faith that law enforcement will get to the bottom of this and hold whoever is responsible accountable to the fullest extent of the law. we are also hearing from congressman ed marky, who is
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running for the vacant seat made available by senator john kerry's appointment to the secretary of state. he writes in response to reported explosion at the site of the boston marathon, the ed marky campaign has suspended activities, including canvassing, phone banking, fundraising and television advertising. beyond all of that, things are quite normal on the streets of washington, d.c if they're watching, many of the public watching from -- probably watching from cameras like this. network, extensive network of cameras throughout washington, d.c. >> doug, thank you very much. just within the last few seconds, house speaker john boehner issued a statement today saying that he's ordering the flags at half-staff at the u.s. capitol out of respect for the victims at the boston marathon tragedy. the attack, quote, words cannot begin to express our sorrow for the families who are grieving. right now the house of representatives offers its prayers to the victims and the city of boston. we also give thanks for the
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professionals and good samaritans who prevented further loss of life. this is a terrible day for all americans, but we carry on. we will carry on in the american spirit and come together with grace and strength. now let's see what's happening in new york city where the specter of 9-11 is very heavy tonight. sister city seeing terrorism, or at least what's being called terrorism at this hour, believed to be. eric shaun is outside on the streets. hello, eric. >> hello. yes, new york city mayor michael bloomberg says there is)uí6 no n specific threat against new york city, but here in the city that lived through 9-11, you can see they're taking no chance. heightened security, these units are all part of a unit created because of 9-11. the critical response vehicles. 1,000 counterterrorism officers deployed on the streets of new york city. there is increased security in hotels, prominent and we have seen bomb sniffing dogs that have been focusing on garbage cans and trash receptacles, especially apparently because of what
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happened in boston. part of the ongoing effort from the city, there is a program that has ongoing random checks on subways, inspecting backpacks and bags. there is increased security on bridges, tunnels and commuter lines. andrew cuomo saying agencies throughout the state are on a heightened level of alert. new york city has been the target of 16 plots since 9-11. in 2010, right here in times square, there was the failed plot to try and detonate a car bomb, also plots against the new york city subway system, and of course, 20 years ago, 1993, the bombing of the world trade center that killed six people. two years later, a plot by islamic terrorists to try and bomb landmarks in new york city, including the u.n. and the tunnels and like. this has been a very ongoing sensitive issue for new yorkers, given a 1973 palestinian terrorist put a5ñéç car bomb on fifth avenue. luckily at that time, that did not go off.
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and also it turned out that the new york city marathon this past year held in november, this time for the first time in its history happened to be canceled because of hurricane sandy. so tonight this city's hearts and prayers and thoughts go out to the victims in boston. bret? >> eric shaun in new york. thank you. moments ago, the washington, d.c. mayor said no information of any specific or credible threats against targets here in the u.s. capitol. let's get more eyewitness reaction from boston. will ritter was on hand at the marathon when the blast hit. he's on the phone with us now. will, thanks for being with us. what did you see? what did you hear? >> thanks. i'm a press secretary for gabriel gomez, running for senate and running in the marathon. we were gog have a press conference at the finish line once he crossed. he had crossed at ten minutes past and we were there preparing for the press conference and we
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heard these two blasts about a second apart. and looked toward boston public library, which is the finish line, where the grand stands were and heard the blast. it's like a shock explosion at a fireworks show. saw a while bill lowey smoke -- billowy smoke and pandemonium ensued. >> will, was it mass hysteria? we see the video. how soon were people cleared out of there? >> well, what you have, i mean, if i can illustrate it, is 26,000 people crossing the finish line and going into coply square to find their friends and family to cheer them on. it's a lot like times square when the ball drops. shoulder to shoulder with folks and the blast went off. there was a moment of confusion. suddenly runners and family members started running east
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towards boston common and the public gardens and first responders, police started jumping and running west toward the library to respond. >> there is a lot of talk about what was going on with other devices and local authorities thwarting, i guess, two other devices at that didn't go off and talk about that early on. then they were looking at a number of different things. what was happening and what were you hearing as far as ground truth and what was actually going on? >> i mean, we heard about the bombs and then we heard very shortly after that there was a few more devices that had been located. i live about a block away, i'm there now. i took off running to make sure my girlfriend hadn't gone to the finish line and just tried to get into my house so to make
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sure everybody was okay. and get out of the public area. >> okay. will ritter, thank you very much, as we're look again at the boston globe video. i really appreciate you coming on and telling us what you saw and heard there on the ground. senior political analyst brit hume has been through a number of different international incidents like this, attacks and big event. he's here with some thoughts. good evening. you know, a lot of times on these big things, the first information is so iffy. it's so vague. it's so fluid. that's what happens in these events. >> it presents a tremendous challenge to journalists covering these events live minute to minute and of course, we've got so many ways to do that now we didn't used to have. there has been live television and radio for years. but now we have virtually live coverage on the internet through a multitude of different avenues and early information is often
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wrong. early information that is not only the information reported by the media, but the information given to the media by authorities who are themselves in the early stages of trying to find out what happened is often off base and the inevitable result is, as we try our best to get it right and get it quickly, is that misinformation gets put about. and it's a regrettable challenge. one of the things that we face as journalists is being careful. i think we've all been suitably careful, as i noticed the president was not readily, not immediately to label this terrorism despite its obvious earmarkses. its hallmarks. this is just one of the things that we go through every single time one of these big events happens and we go live with it. you're on the air, bret, you've done this many times. you're not going to commercials, you don't have much time to break and regroup. time hangs heavy on your hands. our -- you're august the same figures over and over. time seems to go very slowly at
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times like this, believe it or not. and news comes along, you have to restrain that, don't you? >> yes. you do. there is also a sense of security and how interconnected we are. right now crossing in london, british police are now reviewing security plans for sunday's london marathon. the next major international marathon because of the bombs that killed at least two in the race today in boston. >> of course they are, bret. what a nightmare for authorities. this adds one more type of relatively common event to those where people will no longer feel secure, where authorities will feel bound to try to do everything they can to try to secure these areas. look at a marathon, it was 25, 24, 26,000 people. this thing goes over 26 miles! that is a huge area to secure. of course, the poller obviously -- bomber obviously targeted the finish line area. but people are gathered along the way of these routes and
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races like this are often not as big as the one here, are held all the time. so here we are yet again having put before us our vulnerableability as a people, as a society to attacks of this kind. the police, as they say all the time, have to be right all the time. those who would attack need to be right only once. so it's a tough challenge and when one we'll grapple with for a long time. >> let me ask you one more thing before we go to breaking news out of the white house and more details from ed henry. what about the president's not using the word terror in this first statement? >> well, look, you can attribute that to all kinds of reasons. i think he's being careful. if this is a terrorist attack, as it looks so much like it is, we will know soon enough. there is no reason to rush characterization of that, in my opinion. i wouldn't find fault with him for not saying that. >> i wanted to get your thoughts.
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thank you. as i mentioned, breaking news from the white house. ed henry with that. ed? >> i've just spoken to a senior administration official who tells fox that the white house does, in fact, believe that this was an act of terrorism. the official telling me that basically any time that you have multiple explosive devices go off, this official said, that is an act of terrorism. i asked then why the president did not use that word terror, as you just noted and they basically are saying inside the white house, they want to be extremely careful. they're fully aware the president faced criticism after the benghazi terrorist attack for whether or not he was calling it terror or not directly, whether or not the white house was dancing around that class if i case. they're also -- classification. they're aware like lawmakers in their own party who came out and said yes, this is an act of terrorism and, in fact, she carries some weight on the hill because she's the senate intelligence chairman woman. they're fully aware of the focus criticism and aware of what lawmakers who have been briefed on this, the early parts of the
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investigation are saying. but as brit noted, they believe it is very important inside the white house for the president himself to not get too far ahead of this investigation and be declaring it terrorism, scaring the public potentially beyond what they're already feeling after seeing these horrific images come out of the boston. number one. but number two, as you were noting a moment ago, it's unclear to them at this moment whether it was a foreign source of terror or whether it was home grown. they want to sort that out before the president gets to that. >> it's important to point out he has a new team, really. what's a new homeland security advisor and new c.i.a. director as well. >> yes. >> although the c.i.a. director is very familiar to him. >> that's right. and a new chief of staff in dennis mcdonough. in that photo we've been showing the president on the phone, we've got the new chief of staff, who could be well versed for a situation like this. so serious because he has been a deputy national security advisor, you're right.
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this has new player, in lisa man co. she's the -- monaco. she's in a game of musical chairs that happens in the beginning of a second term. the former homeland security advisor was changed. >> just in perspective, when you talk about things going on, this week with immigration and gun control, the president's budget, all of these things converging, and yet as often happens, it all gets trumped by some other event. >> you're right. i hadn't even thought of that until you just said it because we've been so focused on getting every shred of information we can. but you've been on this north lawn before and you know full well that all of a sudden, the president's domestic agenda, in a moment, can be completely overshadowed by an act of terror, as we saw with george w. bush in 2001, or over this past weekend, we were all thinking north korea could be the headline that all of a sudden overshadows gun control, immigration reform. instead, unfortunately, tragically, it's a terrorist attack in boston.
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>> ed henry, we'll head back for bracket tails. hundreds of media were on hand for the boston marathon. we were getting some pretty amazing and chilling accounts of what happened from people who have been in tough situations before. this is another eyewitness account from the photographer for television station wbz in boston. >> it took probably five or ten seconds to realize what had happened, 'cause it couldn't happen there. so it was just too surreal. then my head was screaming run one way and my feet started walking the other and started recording and within another 15, 20 seconds, another device went off up the street. so that's when you realize it wasn't an accident. it wasn't a generator, it wasn't a furnace. something was going on. >> at least two people are dead. many others injured. some seriously. could be up to 100 injured. let's talk to former massachusetts senator republican
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scott brown. he joins us tonight from denver. senator, first your thoughts on this day and, well, just an overall thought. >> first of all, i know the race director, i know a lot of the runners and i know the law enforcement. i was shocked initially. now i'm mad. it's cowardly for the perpetrator or perpetrators to have facilitated this type of terrorism, something that is patriots day. the red sox are playing. the marathon was happening. you had a target-ripe environment. i know commissioner davis. i know they responded as quickly as they could. now we have to obviously pick up the pieces, get the evidence, and track down whoever did this and hold them accountable. >> your wife worked for a local tv station there in boston, wcbd, and you hear the accounts of the photographers there on the scene and you see the video. >> oh, yeah. i know every one of them.
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i know every one of the photographers there. i know right where the store was that it was actually blown out and have been on that road hundreds and hundreds of times. to think it could happen in a day like today, it's numbing. i can tell you what, we are americans first and i appreciate the president reaching out to governor patrick and the mayor. certainly getting all the forces in place to help us find out what happened and listen, all we can ask for is your prayers for the city of boston and for those people who have been fallen and injured. i can't even imagine having a loved one, whether they'd be a citizen watching or a runner, being there standing and socializing and having one of their legs blown off or dying. and here we are, it's a new world and cowardly and we need to fight back and stand strong as americans first. >> have you talked to people there, anybody about what they're thinking as far as the
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investigation? i know it's early and they're not really bound to say too much about it. >> certainly they are -- i've heard reports like you have of other devices that have been found. they're dismantling them. they're a you cannily gathering evidence. i have spoken to a couple of state trooper friends who were on the scene, as well as the president of boston city council who was on the scene. so doing my due diligence, but bottom line, it is early and the key right now is make sure the victims are safe and secure and that we secure the evidence, 'cause it is a crime scene. and make sure we can find out if there are any signature traits for this type of device or devices and obviously go after whoever did it. >> whdh, local station there, is reporting that an eight-year-old is among the dead in the boston marathon terrorist attack. senator, what do you say to folks who look at today and just don't know really what to think
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after -- that feel vulnerable? >> well, that's what terrorism is about. they want us to be fearful. they want us to change the way 2003 business. affects obviously the markets. affects the way we travel can live. what i say is we live in the greatest country in the world and that's why people want to attack us. so we have to stand strong and band together as americans first, north, south, east, west, rich, poor, democrats, republican, we got to show them we are resilient and we will come through in this regard and be stronger for it. >> the "new york post" has been doing some great reporting on the early stages of this investigation and there is some interesting back and forth about whether persons of interest are being guarded. if you hear more about -- what do you think about what the president said in his speech? >> listen, the president i thought acted thoughtfully and
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judiciously as he should. he's getting briefed by many different sources. i think obviously so have him out this was reassuring to the public certainly and i know that he is actively engaged because that's how he is. he immediately reached out to the governor and mayor and our law enforcement, police, fire, emt's, response teams were already in lace and work. the national guard, everybody was on scene. so just the fact that he obviously called the local authorities and elected officials is a good thing. >> senator scott brown, thank you for joining us tonight on our tough night. >> thank you. >> we're continuing to get more eyewitness accounts from runners and spectators, other people there in boston this afternoon. take a listen. >> where did you see the first bomb go off? >> on the right-hand side, just past the blue paint. it was 15 seconds later also further up on the right-hand side, the second explosion.
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>> basically a huge plume of gray smoke go straight up and then that was much louder explosion. then just shortly thereafter, another secondary explosion, but it was not as loud. of course, then we sat there and asked the people, well, did they shoot cannons off or something like that, 'cause we didn't know. and they said no. so then we just kept asking what was going on. >> let's bring in our panel tonight. steve hayes, senior writer, juan williams, and charles krauthammer. your thoughts, charles? >> what strikes me is part of the reason for the psychological shock is that if you think about it, bret, this is the first successful bombing, terror explosion since 9-11. we've had some that were attempted, like the one in times square that never succeeded. we've had by my count, about ten terrorist attacks in the u.s.
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since 9-11, all of them have been shootings with one exception, which is a man who drove a crowded university of north carolina. but this is the first explosion. i think that's what gives this the sort of psychological resonance. people running in the street of a big city, the smoke. of course, it's nowhere near the scale of 9-11. but it's the first time. and i think that is sort of a historical echo that we're feeling and it reminds us had 50 plots that can be called terror plots since 9/11. and you think back here, the key issue is is a domestic plot or foreign plot. here in d.c. we have had some plots that were done
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by foreign nationals or at least people who were foreign born. i'm thinking recently of an attempt to assassinate the saudi ambassador. i guess it was just about last year that a moroccan was charged in a plot to try to blow up the u.s. capital. then you think back to things like the mid-atlantic -- manhattan synagogue. texas by a saudi student. and then, of course, you think of what charles just mentioned what happened in times square. but then you go overseas and you start to look at benghazi, you look at what happened on london subway. you look at what happened in madrid. you look at what's happened in southeast asia and some of the resorts. you understand this problem is never going away. it is the case that we in the united states, since 9/11, have been so blessed not to have this as a constant part of our lives. we have hardened targets from malls to subways to movie theaters and schools. we have things that you
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could call domestic terrorism. the question in my mind is always is this because of our 9/11 experience somehow linked to al al qaeda type of action. people against us because we are americans, because of our beliefs and what we stand for as a global leader. >> bret: steve hayes. >> this has all the terrorist attack. ball bearings or some kind of projectiles included in them. obviously designed for maximum exposure there were television cameras. lots of media there at the site that this took place. so i think it's pretty clear at this point that it was terrorism. but i would echo what brit hume earlier. i would go the president no wide berth here. he was speaking just three hours after the attack. i think it was fine that he didn't use the word terrorism. i understand why people are asking that question of the president and the administration. there have been times in the past when we have known quite a bit more than we know about this particular
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attack but after the christmas day bombing and after the times square bombing where the administration certainly seemed to down play the prospect of terrorism, but, in this case, the president, as i mentioned, was speaking just some three hours after the attack. while we know this has all the hall marks of a terrorist attack i think is he fine. >> bret: the house of representatives behind me at the capitol observing a moment of silence. >> please clear well. [gavel] >> the house will be in order. for for what purposes the gentleman from massachusetts rise. >> i ask the speaker to speak out of order for just a minute. >> thank you, mr. speaker. i rise today to commemorate a few people in boston who lost their lives and many others who are seriously injured today. i had hesitate to call what the event was. whatever it was was a terrible tragedy and no
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matter how you measure it, i don't know did it was official terrorism or unofficial or whatever. but clearly anyone to act in such a manner is clearly an evil person and deserves to be called as such. i know that today that the rest of america stands with us as we have stood with others before us, hopefully to never to do again but i also know that the people of massachusetts and the people of boston. by the way, this event was not just a boston event. the boston marathon is an international event that draws people from around the world. i would be shocked if many of the people that were injured today are not from massachusetts, other parts of country and possibly another part of the world. patriot day. celebrate the actions of our patriots in 1976 that started the revolution that brought to birth this country. we remind ourselves regularly of what it is to be an american. what it is to be a patriot. what it is to be a member of a society that cares for each other. and i know that the members of this house will join me in